It’s not what you think. Um. Or it’s exactly what you think, so bear with me.
So here’s the background on this. Me and several other folks in my world have been having a round and round bunch of seeming silliness related to the Norse god Loki for quite a few months now. Someone does a meditation, there are dreams, divination happens, Loki possesses a medium, the god draws closer and what ends up happening inevitably is that the content of the message nearly immediately devolves into jokes about shit, jokes about testicles, or jokes about Goatse (this is a link to the Wikipedia page about Goatse, not a link to the actual picture… if you don’t know what Goatse is, you may want to consider checking out the Wikipedia page first. This post will make more sense if you know what I’m talking about). I finally sat down to meditate with Loki to try and gain some clarity about this seeming obscene absurdity, since I was also given a very stern lecture a few months back that the more absurd or shocking Loki’s messages seems to be, the more truth he is speaking (if you can manage to decode what he’s saying). This essay is what, er, poured out of me when I sat with the question.
Did you know Goatse.cx was originally a web domain as well as internet shock site? The original plan was to provide web hosting services through this site apparently, though that didn’t end up happening. See? The Great Web of Creation, the internet of course being a microcosm of the Web of all that has been, is, becoming, and might be, the vast and tangled strands of information, communication and relationship that connect all of us and all things. Goatse shocks you out of your complacency in part because you think you’re looking into the wrong end of creation. This is my end – the dissolution, whatever was created will eventually be destroyed and rewoven into new forms. From formlessness into form and back into formlessness, my mysteries are, in part, that conversion back to formlessness. What happens in your body when you’re done digesting? You bring in the raw materials you need to grow and sustain and heal, you break those down into their component parts, take what you need, get rid of the rest alongside your byproducts of metabolism, body toxins, all the things that if they were to sit inside you would eventually infect or poison you (same end result, different mode of operation). What leaves your body as shit returns to the web to sustain or poison others (is there a difference, really?). Your shit can make others sick or nourish plants and fungi and bacteria, and so the cycle continues. I may not be at the pretty end of the cycle but my end is equally important, equally ecstatic. How great do you feel after a really satisfying shit? When things are broken back down into formlessness there is a moment, an in-drawn breath when anything is possible because the binding forms have all dropped away. This is my magic, this is my gift, this is my realm. This is the domain of luck, chaos and chance (all different words for the same thing) – the unknown, the wildcard. There must be chaos woven into the web or the web would become too ordered, too static, and it would be too much work for the gods. We can’t order everything, nor would we want to. By giving you free will, you become partners in creation, you become creators yourselves. The orderliness gives you the opportunity for structure and for a starting point. Chaos and luck gives you enough unknown that you have something to work with, enough wiggle room that you can figure some of it out for yourselves. From here arises creativity, hope, choice, opportunity. That is where I dwell, in the moment before creation when all things are possible, in the moment of dissolution before the components are re-ordered into something meaningful. From here arises free will. From here arises creativity. From here arises hope and choice.
Why ball sacks? This is obvious. The ball sack holds the seeds of a man. A man’s seed is half empty, half full, incomplete. More opportunities for chance, choice, and creativity. Who will you partner with? Maybe you won’t partner at all? Maybe your half formed seed will find its way somewhere entirely else to do entirely different work than it was originally intended for? The ball sack, the dice cup filled with rolling dice, it’s all the same thing. But it shocks you when I say balls, so I say it as often as I can. Shock wakes you up, makes you look around to double check where you are, how you got there, where you’re going.
In Skadi’s story, I tie my ball sack to the beard of a nanny goat (get it? Goatse.cx?). A female with a beard, representing a type of gender liminal creature (let’s pretend for a moment that the obvious species and problematic politics your own thinkers will point out don’t matter or don’t exist, shall we?). Me, another gender liminal creature possibly on the other side of that binary, female with a beard, male without one? It’s my generative organs, that which should mark me as male but doesn’t, not really… that is tied to her facial hair which should mark her as male but doesn’t, not really. A rope, dynamic tension. Skadi understands. She is a woman (far more woman than I will ever be), clad in armor, wielding weapons and with enough male-gendered rage and skill to shake the walls of Asgard, taking on the role of an avenging son. She is given leave to choose a husband, based on the beauty of his, er, “feet”. Men aren’t used to being objectified quite so intensely based entirely on the beauty of what they think marks their masculinity. So she does that, emasculating them by focusing on that which defines their maleness, and judging it by a scale usually reserved for the judgment of women’s attributes. I reminded her of these artificial constructs, and the extremes and excesses as only I could. Laughter is a type of release, like orgasm. Maybe her laughter was an orgasm? Do you think maybe? She standing in her fiercest, most male expression of her woman power, dominating the men in the room using their own tools and tricks. So it would take a gender bending god with his junk tied to a gender bending goat to exemplify and underline this binary gendered dynamic tension, til the one extreme becomes the other and we all dissolve in a fit of orgasmic giggling. Of course her father’s eyes had to be cast into the heavens at that point to become stars, he’d already seen more than he needed to see, don’t you think?
Goats were also a very common sacrifice in some areas back in the days when you folks engaged with us in those older ways, you know. And I am the god who receives the sacrifices and transforms them from the form they have in your world into the form they take when carried over into ours. Mine is the sacrificial flame that immolates and transforms flesh and blood and bone and breath into the energy that can be gifted to the gods to whom you make your offering. An offering given to fire is an offering that passes through my hands, through my gates, for I own that particular gate (ask me about Gullveig sometime when you remember). I am the funerary fire as well, for what is a funeral pyre than a gate that dissolves the last of the mortal shell, allowing the energy stored in the body to free up and help carry the soul across my threshold into the hands of the gods who will receive them? This moment in the story, my balls, her beard, also speaks to the dynamic tension between she who is to be sacrificed and me who will receive her and transform her and gift her. This is why I am the gift giving god, the transmission passes through my hands and through my flames.
Shit and balls and death and transforming fire. I am part of the maintenance of the great Web of Creation. It’s not my fault you all have taboo-soaked fits when I talk about my mysteries. I am the force of chaos. I am the luck bringer who disrupts the order, who breaks the rules, who violates the taboos. I bring choice and free will. I insert the wild card threads into the weaving. And I pull apart the threads that have become too binding, I dissolve the threads whose time is done (whether you believe their time is done or not, your belief does not factor into this very much, except for when it does but that’s another mystery for another day). I am the other end of digestion, that which is returning to its component parts, that which has disintegrated or become dismembered or decoupled or deconstructed or destroyed, that which has lost its order. I am the opportunity and the unexpected. Do you get a little bit of it now?
Without me and gods like me there is nothing but order, nothing but the fated and the expected. There is no choice, there is no creativity, there is no spontaneity. There is no creation, for you see you need creativity for creation. Without us, what was created won’t get destroyed, and then where will you be? Up to your (possibly metaphorical) balls in shit and corpses that won’t rot, that’s where. What is created eventually must be destroyed. What is destroyed will find its way back into a new form, a new creation. Formlessness into form, form into formlessness, and thus the cycle continues. But it’s all an illusion, isn’t it? Creation, destruction, nothing is created nor destroyed, it just changes shape. Like the waves on the ocean, peaking and flattening. The movement is always meaningful, at least for a moment. And every movement sparks more movement, an endless dance of rising and falling, in and out like fucking, the release that orgasm brings.
Did you know orgasm is in part a reflex response? It’s what happens when the part of your nervous system that screams fight or flee and the part of your nervous system that soothes and calms subsume one another, until the dynamic tension binding seeming opposite binaries within your own body snaps and dissolves into a sparkling cascade of neurochemicals that disrupts thoughts as well as all your other body systems. I exist in that release, the tension and the dissolution of tension. Have you ever come so hard you dissolved into giggles? Have you ever come so hard you dissolved into wracking sobs? What’s the difference, really? There isn’t one, your circuits have been overloaded and joy and sadness and anger and trust and fear and safety blur until there isn’t any real distinction between any of these, just a scramble of chemicals and sparking nerves and release and dissolution. This is where I live, in the blurred lines, in the release, in the screams and the ecstasy and immediate and the chance and the luck and the chaos and the dissolution.
So yes, I cry when you’re happy and laugh when you’re mad and talk endlessly about shit and balls and Goatse (who is my favorite, forever). My mysteries are real mysteries, even if you’re too squeamish to hear me. You don’t have to invite me to your parties, but random chance is gonna sneak in the door anyhow. So decide for yourself if you want me as a welcome guest or as a gate crasher, I’m coming either way (did you see what I did there?). Will you court luck, try to improve or strengthen it, or will you assume you have no say in which way your luck falls? Will you joyfully open to chaos or will you fight it? How wide can you open? How deep do these mysteries go? My doors are always open to you, you know, and you’ll pass through my gates eventually, one way or another.